Since most of us indulged during December, I thought I'd post a somewhat lighter cake for dessert during the in-between-holidays week.
It's a delightful cake and originally from the island of Majorca in Spain. Almonds are a major crop of the island, first grown in the 19th century after Majorca's wine industry was wiped out from disease. Mallorcan farmers decided to plant almond trees in their place. Considered high quality almonds, there are more than 100 types grown here and more than 5 million almond trees.
Flourless Lemon Almond Cake
From Simply Recipes
4 eggs, separated into 4 egg yolks and 4 egg whites, room temperature
2 Tbsp lemon zest, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup white sugar, divided 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cup finely ground almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon white or cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, and grease it and the sides of the pan with butter or cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat together with a wooden spoon the egg yolks, lemon zest, and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, ground cardamom, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat by hand until smooth. It will be very thick.
With an electric mixer and the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed. When bubbles start to form, add a pinch of salt and the teaspoon of vinegar. As the egg whites begin to increase in volume, sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, a little at a time, as you continue to beat the eggs whites. Beat until soft peaks form.
Fold the beaten egg whites into the almond mixture a large scoopful at a time. It will be difficult at first, keep folding scoops at a time and soon you'll be able to gently fold in the whites in such a way as to create a light batter.
Pour the batter into a the prepared springform pan and place in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake helping it to separate from the side of the pan. Release the springform pan sides, and gently move the cake to a cake serving plate. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar before serving.